Movies guaranteed to entertain adults and kids alike.

By Melinda Page
Updated January 19, 2009
David Land

Charlotte’s Web (1973): For children weaned on the recent live-action version, the original animated film of E. B. White’s beloved book offers a different, equally engrossing take. Ages five and up.

The Court Jester (1955): The medieval setting and the slapstick silliness of this forgotten gem starring Danny Kaye “will delight any kid who enjoyed Shrek’s fractured fairy tales,” says James Rocchi, a film-content contributor for Netflix, the film-rental service. Ages six and up.

Curious George (2006): “In this funny animated adventure,” says Rocchi, “the tales of the insatiable little monkey and the Man With the Yellow Hat are brought to new life.” Ages four and up.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982): This special-effects tale of friendship, innocence, and courage is riveting and fun. Ages seven and up.

Fly Away Home (1996): In what Rocchi calls a “gorgeous, ecologically minded adventure,” a plucky young girl rescues a flock of lost baby geese and guides them back to their migration route in an ultralight plane. Ages eight and up.

Mary Poppins (1964): Even with repeated viewings, this classic is guaranteed to charm, thanks to its catchy songs, mix of live action and animation, and Julie Andrews’s infectious cheer. Ages six and up.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988): Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki presents a magical animated tale of two little girls and the spirits who live in a forest nearby. Ages five and up.

The Thief of Bagdad (1940): The special effects may be a little dated, but this film about a young boy outwitting an evil magician is enthralling for its sense of fantasy and sprawling adventure. Ages eight and up.